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528                      THE SEROTINE AND PIPISTRELLK                CHAP.
these two characters it may be added that the nose leaf Is well
developed, but is not so complicated as in the last family. The
type genus Nycteris is Ethiopian and Oriental, nine species being
African, and only one, N. javanica, being, as the specific name
denotes, from the East. Megaderma is to be distinguished by the
loss of the upper incisors. There is no tail, and the ears are
particularly large. They are carnivorous flats, and M. lyra, called
the " Indian Yanipire Bat," chiefly affects frogs as an article of diet.
Fam. 3. Vespertilionidae.This family has not the nose
leaf of other families. The apertures of the nostrils are simple,
round, or crescentic apertures. The ear has a tragus, and the tail
is not produced to any great degree behind the interfemoral
membrane. There are two phalanges to the index digit.
This family in numbers of species is vastly in excess of any
other family of Bats. The most recent estimate, that of P. L.
and "W. L. Sclater, allows 190. But the generic types are by no
means so numerous as in the Phyllostomatidae. This is a signi-
ficant fact when we reflect upon the geographical range of the two
families. The Vespertilionidae range over the whole earth, while
the Phyllostomatidae are practically limited to the South American
continent, only just getting into the Nearctic region. They in-
habit, therefore, a more restricted area, and, in consequence of
competition, have specialised more freely than the widely-spread
and therefore not crowded "Vespertilionidae.
The genus Vesperugo is by far the largest genus of this family,
embracing no less than seventy species. The tail is shorter than
the head and body together; the ears are separate, arid moderate
or short in size ; the tragus is generally short and obtuse. The
dentition is I 2, C 1, Pm 2 or 1, M 3. It is a remarkable fact
that this genus, unlike most Bats, produces two young at a time.
The genus is universal in range, and one species, the Serotine Bat,
known in this country, even ranges from, the Itfew "World to the
Old; but with so small a creature the possibility of accidental
transportation by man must not be left out of sight. The British
species are F". serotinus, the Serotine already mentioned; V.
discolor, a single example only of which has occurred, and may
have been introduced; V. noctula, the habits of which were
described by Gilbert White; V. leisleri; and the Pipistrelle, V.
pipistrellws, wliicli is the best-known member of the genus in this
eoraitry.